Submitted/The Oread

This artist's rendering shows what the south face of the Oread will look like. The hotel, conference and retail center, located just north of campus, is scheduled to open in January.

The Oread rises above KU skyline

New hotel, event center quickly taking shape

Those new to the Hill or returning after a summer away from campus have likely noticed Fraser Hall has a new, striking partner in the Lawrence skyline.

Megan McAtee/University Relations

A work crew focuses on the west side of the Oread. A fifth floor terrace will feature views of Memorial Stadium and downtown Lawrence.

Megan McAtee/University Relations

The Oread is quickly rising above the KU skyline. This view shows the south face, where the main entrance will be located.

Megan McAtee/University Relations

This suite at The Oread will feature rounded windows overlooking KU. The facility is being finished and is slated to open in January.

The Oread, a 10-story facility that will serve as a hotel, conference center and dining and entertainment center at the north edge of campus, is nearing completion. The building is scheduled to be completed and open for business by January, said Nancy Longhurst, general manager. Longhurst is also the general manager for downtown Lawrence’s hotel The Eldridge, which is owned by many of the same investors.

When finished, the building will be faced in limestone and feature a fifth floor terrace with views of Memorial Stadium and downtown Lawrence, four levels of underground parking and valet service. But it is perhaps the features planned for the interior that will get visitors’ attention.

The Oread will include 100 guest rooms, 12 of which are suites, as well as three floors of condos on the top floor that have already been sold. Observation decks will be located on the ninth and 10th floors as well. The ground level will house the hotel lobby as well as 521, a sit-down restaurant; the Bird Dog Bar; ice cream shop; retail shops catering to KU students and fans; and a branch of KU Bookstores. All will be open to guests and the public.

The facility is designed to accommodate events such as wedding receptions and alumni, sorority and fraternity and social events. Two banquet rooms have capacity of 270 and 240 people, respectively. There are also a series of smaller meeting rooms. The banquet rooms, as well as the fifth-floor, northside terrace, will feature full banquet and bar service.

Guest rooms will be located from the second through fifth floors, and rates will range from $99 to $360 per night depending on the size of room and time of year. Rachel Herring, Oread sales director, said reservations are already being made.

The building’s lower levels will house four levels of parking as well as a number of features for guests and the public. A Jimmy Johns sandwich shop, pizza restaurant, three lounges and Lemon Bliss, a day spa, will be open to the public. A 600 capacity nightclub called the Cave and a smoking bar will be among those beneath ground level. An exercise facility for guests will also be below ground, as well as a theatre/media room that seats nearly 50. Even those who don’t find themselves in the media room can stay connected through the building’s wireless Internet, which will be available throughout.

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